Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Would You Charge?

My co-worker left this ad on my desk and thought I might be interested. I called. Hmmm….interesting conversation.

The woman wanted a family Christmas stocking duplicated. She does not have the pattern and the stocking is about two feet long. Here’s a few of the comments and red flags!

“I took the stocking I already have to a yarn shop and they told me it would be easy.”

“I’m in no hurry for it but I already took it away from one lady because she had the materials for 3 weeks and had not completed the stocking.”

“Oh, it has trees in the pattern and I want my son’s name and birth date included.”

“It should go quickly. I’m not interested in learning to knit and do it myself.”

I asked what “ball park” figure did she have in mind for payment. She couldn’t come up with an amount.

I informed her I was not interested after all and suggested she contact a senior citizen center as I was sure there would be a knitter who would be interested and who had the time.

This person lives in a very affluent community. I wanted to say, but didn’t, “You would not be able to afford to pay for my time.” So, she mentioned the retirement community where she lives and said, “oh, but they would not be interested!”…………as if the task would be beneath them.

What do you think would have been a fair price? Let’s assume size 6 needles and worsted weight yarn as well as recharting the pattern.

Happy Knitting


  1. first reaction is to ask more than I figure she'd be willing to pay just to get her out of my hair. If she's already taken it away from one knitter, I'm betting she's one of those impossible-to-please types that make me itch. LOL!!!

  2. Oh my.

    She sounds like someone who would not be easily pleased and might be the sort to call daily to see how things were going.

    Run away!

  3. I'm with Cookie. Keep running. This woman will never be pleased. But just for kicks, I would have told her $500. After all, you'd have to chart the various designs included in the stocking. Additionally, $50 for each time she calls and/or has a complaint. Renate

  4. Wow, you've had some interesting encounters. LOL! I have no idea what I would charge for such a project.

    In my jeweler's place of business, he has this notice prominently displayed: "My prices are subject to change based on the customer's attitude." This could also be applied here with this woman.

  5. I'd say I want $20 per hour- minimum 10 hours and $20 for each phone call I get from you asking if it's done. 50% CASH up front- now you know why I don't make quilts for money-

  6. I love Deb's jeweler's take on it. My instant reaction was $1000. But then, I had someone I didn't know once hire me to spin her poodle's fur to make into an afghan. She was too vague on price, just, she would do right by me. Uh huh. I spun up the first skein and mailed it off to her to see if it was what she was expecting. Did she answer? Did she pay for it? Never heard from her again.

    So after a year, I mailed her the rest I'd spun by the point where I'd stopped to ask her, and told her it was a birthday gift from me, because surely in the past year she had had a birthday.

    That way I got to feel magnanimous and get her off my possible back forever.

    I'm with the others--RUN from such people. They think they're doing us a favor by *letting* us knit for them.

  7. One question I'd have is about the previous knitter that had it for three weeks; "How much of the stocking did she complete and could I see it?". I never know what to charge people but if I were taking on this project, I would have a little contract drawn up stating that I would have the project done within three months and I am to be trusted and not called.

  8. What a story! I think you were right to tell her you were not interested. It sounds like there isn't enough money to deal with someone like that.

  9. Sounds like your everyday imposable person to please.

  10. I agree with Kim. $20/hr, and tell her it would probably take +10 hours to charts the designs (trees, name, birthdate) and to knit it. See if that scares her away.

  11. move not to accept. I agree with those that said run. Firstly, I don't believe a yarn shop told her it would be easy. And if she's in no hurry and it's for Christmas, why did she take it away after only 3 wks from the first knitter?

    I think I would be interested and check back with her. Let her know you've pooled your knitting community who feel giving the first knitter 3 wks was insufficient and ask her what yarn shop told her it would be easy. Perhaps since they think it's easy....they would do it for her. LOL And we know how much they would charge!

  12. She needs to find someone who would enjoy such a project. We knit and do other hobbies for fun, not for profit. If the project is fun, makes you happy doing it, then it doesn't matter if you are paid less than minimum wage, but if it's something you just do for the money, you need to be compensated adequately. I really wonder why she felt the seniors wouldn't be interested.

    You were right to tell her you are not interested.

  13. Smart move, telling her you weren't interested. Though she could have probably provided you with blogfodder for many many posts...

  14. What a hoot! LOL
    I've had conversations similar to yours about knitting and playing piano for some event "just a little background music for a 'few' hours".